18 Jul 14

New Anglia LEP Chairman meets tomorrow’s engineers

Mark Pendlington, New Anglia LEP Chairman, met with Sizewell B apprentices to hear about the training programme equipping the next generation of nuclear technicians in Suffolk.

Becky Hanson and Joss Grant, both third year apprentices were pleased to give the LEP Chairman a tour of their workplace from the workings of the turbine hall through to the maintenance workshops.

Mark told the apprentices: “Your are both developing vital skills through EDF Energy’s extensive training programme. These skills will be important for your future and for the future of the nuclear industry in Suffolk and Norfolk. These are exciting times. The nuclear industry in the region is part of the East of England Energy Zone, and it is estimated that around £50 billion will be invested in the energy sector over the next 20 years. So, the future for you and other apprentices, with your skills, experience and expertise, is an exciting one.

He added: “I’ve been delighted to see, at first hand, EDF Energy’s exemplary apprenticeship programme. This provides a real opportunity for young people, locally to develop skills. Future technicians, like Joss and Becky will help ensure the energy industry in Suffolk and Norfolk is a leading global player and of huge benefit to UK plc.”

Jon Yates Sizewell B Maintenance Manager said: “Apprentices are an important part of EDF Energy’s business today and tomorrow, for our existing power stations and those that are in the planning stages. It is vital that we continue to foster good links with our schools and colleges in the region so students can see the breadth of roles on offer in the nuclear industry. An apprenticeship provides the skills, behaviours, confidence and qualifications to join our industry’s next generation of engineers.”

Tom McGarry, Sizewell C Head of Communications said: "We were delighted to welcome Mark Pendlington and Iain Dunnett to Sizewell B. As well as touring the plant we had the opportunity to view the Sizewell C site and discuss our plans for new build. There are a number of areas where New Anglia’s ambitions for the region align with EDF Energy’s proposals for a new power station, including enhancing skills, employment opportunities and the low carbon economy. It is important for us to work together to achieve benefits for Suffolk and Norfolk."

EDF Energy’s apprentice scheme
Sizewell B’s latest apprentices, who come from schools in Framlingham, Woodbridge, Gorleston and Bury St Edmunds, will tackle engineering training and also develop life skills at HMS Sultan. Away from the classroom the apprentices will enjoy excellent sports and leisure facilities under the watchful eye of the centre’s own team.

Sizewell B currently has 49 apprentices at different stages of the Advanced Nuclear Apprentice Scheme. Our Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship Scheme is a four-year programme which focuses on the skills required to maintain nuclear power stations as well as the attitudes and behaviours essential to the safe operation of our plants. Completing the course gives the apprentices an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Certificate in Engineering, a BTEC and NVQ Level 3, with the option to progress onto HNC.

The programme runs for four years, the first two of which are based at the Royal Naval base at HMS Sultan near Portsmouth, Hampshire. During this time apprentices undergo training in academic and workshop environments to ensure they gain an excellent introduction to engineering and develop a strong skills foundation. Part of this programme also covers the development of key behaviours and life skills, like confidence and communication

The scheme lasts for four years and will reopen for applications in November this year.

The Sizewell B visitor centre
The Visitor Centre provides a great opportunity to find out more about what happens at Sizewell B and to meet up with some of the people who work here. The Visitor Centre is open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and from May – September on Saturday’s. The majority of the tours are organised for schools and educational groups. However, members of the public are also able to attend by appointment.

Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, before being given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To find out more and to enquire about booking a visit, contact sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com.